Recipe: White Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcakes & Browned Butter Frosting
Baby Girl Ward was born recently (view pics of the cutie here!), so while I’m out learning how to take care of her, I’ve asked some amaze bloggers to visit! Today’s post comes from the lovely Maurine of Maurine Dashney. Get ready for the perfect cake to start your Autumn. And make you fat. And happy.
Hi there! I’m Maurine Dashney from the baking and lifestyle blog, Maurine Dashney. I happen to specialize in developing custom cake recipes. Today I bring you a delicious cupcake recipe for fall (and what is probably my favorite recipe I’ve created, actually!)—White Chocolate Chai Spice Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting. Here’s the story on the cake part: It’s a simple white chocolate cake recipe with some spices added to remind you of Chai tea—a drink that is bound to make you think of fall. Chai tea, though generally made with black tea, can also be found in herbal varieties and is typically flavored with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. Hence, I call these spices collectively “Chai spice.” And as for the frosting, this Brown Butter Frosting contains just two ingredients: butter and powdered sugar. It’s very simple to make and involves a technique of browning butter to bring out a sweet, nutty aroma that will make the frosting you make with it taste oh-so-heavenly. Long story short, you need this cupcake in your life.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHAI SPICE CUPCAKES
Makes 12 cupcakes.
• 1 2/3 cups cake flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 egg whites
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 2/3 cup white chocolate chips, melted*
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• ¼ tsp ground cloves
• 1/4 tsp ground ginger
• 1/4 tsp cardamom
*Note: You should melt the white chocolate chips just before adding them to the batter, as they will cool fairly quickly. Also be sure that when you are melting the chocolate that you do so very gradually, such as at 20-second increments at reduced power in the microwave.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a larger bowl, beat the butter at a high speed, and gradually beat in the sugar. Then, slowly beat in the egg whites.
4. Now you will gradually be adding the dry mixture and the milk to the butter-sugar-egg mixture. To do this, alternate mixing in some of the dry mixture, followed by some milk, followed by some dry mixture… You get the picture. Do that until you’ve incorporated the dry mixture and the milk completely. Just don’t over-mix here.
5. Finish by incorporating the vanilla, white chocolate, and spices.
6. If you’re making cupcakes, pour the batter into greased or lined cupcake wells until each is about 2/3 full and bake for 17 to 22 minutes. If you’re baking a cake, pour the batter into a greased 9″ round cake pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Rely on the toothpick test here for a perfect cooking time— a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out with some crumbs on it.
BROWN BUTTER FROSTING
In case you’re new to brown butter, here’s a brief intro. Brown butter is simply butter that has been heated over medium heat for about 8 minutes until it has turned brown in color and attained a heavenly nutty aroma. Once browned, you can let the butter cool to room temperature—or chill it in the refrigerator—and use it just like you would regular butter. It’s a very easy technique to do, so I highly recommend trying it!
• 2 sticks butter
• 2–3 cups powdered sugar
1. In a light-colored non-stick skillet, heat both sticks of butter over medium heat (I go for the lower end of medium).
2. Whisk the butter occasionally, watching the color transition from yellow to a deep amber to a deep brown. You’ll also get some foaming action going on here.
3. After about 8 minutes when the butter has browned and you can smell the nutty aroma—trust me, you’ll know it when you smell it—remove the butter from heat and transfer it to a heat-proof bowl. (You may notice some brown flecks at the bottom of the skillet as you do this; those are little milk solids that cooked faster than the rest of the butter. I decided to keep them because I like the little flecks they add to the frosting later, but you are welcome to leave those in the skillet.)
4. Let the butter chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour until it has just about hardened.
5. Transfer the butter to a large mixing bowl. Cream the butter with an electric mixer, and gradually add the powdered sugar. I found that I didn’t need much to produce a nice, thick frosting, so add only as much as you need to get the right consistency.
6. Frost on cooled cupcakes and then rejoice in the glory that is white chocolate + Chai spices + brown butter frosting.Happy baking!
photography: all photos by Maurine Dashney